Recently I've been resisting buying jam. I guess because jam is so easy to make it seems beside the point. Although I like the end result, I really enjoy the process of making jam: cleaning and slicing the fruit, adding sugar and some additional complimentary flavourings and then combining it all and stirring it in a thick bottomed pot until it becomes syrupy. The stirring is not so much meditative as it is repetitive. It gives you time to mull things over. As a bonus you get to give a jar to a friend. Or maybe to that person you now realise, having stirred the jam for 30 minutes, you didn't treat fairly. What's not to love about that?
1 kg (1 lb) plums
500 grams (1/2 lb) sugar
1 /2 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean
Wash the plums and cut them in half, removing the pit. Cut each half into thirds and put in a heavy bottom-ed pot.
Split the vanilla bean and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Add the vanilla seeds, bean, sugar and salt to the pot.
Turn heat to medium and bring to a boil. Skim any foam that rises to the surface. Keep at a soft boil and keep stirring until thickened, about 30 -35 minutes.
To test the jam put a teaspoon in a small saucer and put this in the freezer for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and check the consistency which should be a soft jelly. If too runny continue cooking the jam for a couple more minutes and check again.
Spoon jam into clean jam jars and keep refrigerated. The jam will keep in the fridge for about 3 weeks.